I’m a learner. There are many sources of learning, podcasts are one of them. I listen to quite a few on a weekly basis and have learned, and keep learning, from listening to podcasts. So I was a little surprised by a tweet I came across last week where Vedant Rusty said the following:
Podcasts are not a source of learning. They just make you feel as if you’re learning.
— Vedant Rusty (@VedantRusty) September 16, 2021
He never clarified his point so who knows what exactly he’s saying here. But if we take his tweet as it is, then I disagree with him because I’ve learned from listening to podcasts.
Let’s see, why do you listen to podcasts? I listen to podcasts for the following reasons:
- Learning. This one is pretty straightforward, you listen to learn about a topic you know nothing of or viceversa.
- Expanding perspective. This one, I believe, is more important because you can in essence get into someone else’s head. You don’t know everything, and people will bring their perspective to posed questions. That perspective is unknown to us, but we can learn and expand our perspective by listening to their perspective.
With that said, I think you have to make the distinction about what learning means to you. For example, if you see learning as going down into the nitty gritty details and want step by step instructions on how to do something then most podcasts don’t apply as learning material for you; YouTube is much better format for that.
I don’t see learning as step by step instructions. I get as much value from podcasts that are interview based or conversational as I do from one guy / or girl talking about something that interests them; what matters is that those people are curious and passionate about what they’re talking about.
Heck, I started my own podcast 5 years ago precisely because I wanted dig deeper into other topics and to meet and learn from other people. Anyway, there are not shortage of lists on the internet of Podcasts that will make you smarter; I’ll publish my list on a separate post
I want to know what you think, do you find podcasts useful for learning? Which podcasts are your favorite and why?